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January 17, 2012

Congress Should Authorize Grant Program For Naturalization Assistance and Integration

January 17, 2012 (WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement in response to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report he requested on the naturalization and citizenship process. The report, entitled Immigrant Integration: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Could Better Assess Its Grant Program (GAO-12-274), details that with 39 million foreign-born people living in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) runs grant programs to help immigrants prepare for the naturalization process. However, GAO has found it is difficult to tell whether these efforts have been successful and recommends that USCIS develop more robust performance evaluations and outcome measures for these grant programs.

"With tens of millions of legal immigrants living in this country, we must ensure there is an appropriate system in place to help these individuals through the naturalization process so they can participate fully in American society. I encourage Congress to authorize and fund these services. I will continue to oversee USCIS efforts and I urge DHS headquarters to provide consistent and robust direction of these services."

Link to Report (GAO-12-274)

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978